Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lacey Schuckman Interview

Photo Credits:
Photos 1-3: Invicta FC
Photos 4-5: Florida Fighter

In her last fight for Invicta, Lacey Schuckman stepped in on short notice to face Ayaka Hamasaki. In losing the fight, Schuckman showed, as she always does, a ton of heart. Lacey is always improving and always entertaining in the cage. This time she returns to the Invicta cage, this time having the benefit of a full training camp, and faces Michelle Waterson. Both Lacey and Michelle are fighters who have the majority of their wins by submission but are both very good strikers as well. This fight could be the fight that steals the show.

Q: Last fight, you lost against Ayaka Hamaski. Looking back at that fight, anything you could have done differently?
A: I just really didn't have the time to train my offensive game for that fight, we were doing a lot of defense since it was on short notice. Having a longer camp really helps. I need to get into my funk a little bit quicker.

Q: If you had had the full training camp, would it have maybe gone differently?
A: I wouldn't say it would have been different, but I think I definitely would have performed better, displayed the skills I have. But I wouldn't say that I would have definitely won if I had longer.

Q: When she was getting the takedowns, at any point did it start getting frustrating?
A: I wasn't really frustrated, I just try and focus on how I can turn it around. I couldn't quite find my zone, I never really felt like I was where I normally am mentally for a fight. Almost like in training with someone really tough who is relentless.

Q: In that situation, are you trying more to catch something off your back, or just trying to get it back up?
A: In that particular fight, I think I should have put her on the ground more. In the future, I really work every area, trying to be the most well-rounded I can be. Enjoy every area and not try and focus on any one thing. I feel like on my back I can work submissions or work to get up if that is what I choose to do, if it is the smarter choice in the fight.

Q: What does it mean to you for Invicta to bring you right back off of the loss?
A: I really feel like it is a blessing. They must see something in me for them to give me another opportunity and put me again on the main card. I really wanna keep working with Invicta, they are an amazing promotion and treat you right. I am counting my blessings.

Q: A lot of girls have said they do so much more for them compared to other promotions, what do they do for you that other promotions don't?
A: Just in general they really care about you and cater to you. Anything you need, they take care of, you are there to fight strictly, they make sure you don't have to worry about anything else. They go above and beyond, they give you gift baskets, Epsom salt for your weight cut if you need it, they take care of your per diem, most promotions don't always do that other than the higher levels. They make you comfortable so you can focus on your fight.

Q: You are fighting Michelle Waterson, how do you feel you match up with her?
A: I think this is a great time for us to meet up. She is coming off a win over Diana Rael. I train with Diana so it is kind of funny in that instance. She just got married and had a baby and is trying to keep her train rolling and I am coming off a loss and feel I am hungrier. Having to drop to 105, I feel this will be a good home for me, we will see, it is my first time so we will see how I feel. The weight cut has gone well, I am excited to get in there. With her and my traditional background, we match up well. Her training at Jackson's, she is well-rounded. She has six submissions, so she isn't just a stand-up fighter.  This will give me an opportunity to display more of my stand-up and show the improvements I have made on the ground.

Q: With her getting most of her wins by submission, does that make you train more on submission defense than usual?
A: No, we drill everything all the time. It is no different for her. Ayaka said it best, "you don't train for your opponent, you just train". That is what I have been focusing on, training every area of my game so that wherever she takes it, I can go there and be the more dominant fighter.

Q: With both of you getting the majority of your wins by submission, do you expect this could be a fight with most of the time on the ground?
A: I don't know, it's hard to decide. She does have a stand-up background. I think a lot of her submissions come off of her stand-up. She has her little flying armbar, she capitalizes on it the moment it goes to the ground. I think you will see a lot of everything in this fight. I think we will stand and bang and be comfortable if it goes to the ground.

Q: When I interviewed Diana, she mentioned girls dropping to 105 and being stronger, do you expect to have a strength advantage against girls at 105?
A: That is the general idea. I don't put it past anyone, there are people who have freakish strength no matter what size they are. I hope it is a benefit but I wont under-estimate anyones strength just because of their size. Diana is a great example, she is not a weak 105'er. I think the few times I fought at 110, I was stronger.

Q: I asked her this and will ask you, with you training with her and you both having big fights coming at relatively the same time, does that help you?
A: Definitely! My schedule has been pretty weird and I haven't got to train with her as much as I would like. But overall, it is good, we are both in that zone. It is definitely a benefit.

Q: Is their anywhere where you feel you hold the biggest advantage?
A: I never thought of it like that. I think my boxing is a little stronger than hers. In the past she hasn't done as well, but she has come back better and better. I focus on that area more, but she is always improving and wont leave any one area without work.

Q: With everyone who follows women's MMA watching this, is there any pressure to not only win, but put on that show-stealing performance and be one of the girls everyone talks about afterwords?
A: I think it is awesome so many people are watching, but I am always looking for that. I always wanna put on a great performance and show I am a technical fighter. In the past I have been known to just be tough and rely on my toughness to get through fights. I wanna show people that the last year I have strengthened my technique. I wanna be a martial artist not just a fighter. With so many people watching, I don't wanna just be known as the brawler, I wanna be known as the technician.

Q: Do you have a prediction?
A: No, I don't haha. I am gonna win haha.

Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My husband Randall first. My gyms, the S.H.O.P MMA and Fitness Training Center, Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy, House of Pain, Title Boxing Club Greenwood Village. My sponsors, Tussle Fight Gear, Tan Time, Sparta Combat League, Klench Kustoms, Botanico, Babes of MMA, 303 Ink, and Blue Drink Studios and Altitude Organic Medicine.

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